The Fast and the Furious film franchise has reached its sixth installment, and still has Vin Diesel, even after 12 years since the first movie. One of the things that the movies started is the fascination in game developers to create games that featured the premise of illegal street racing. It has since become cliched, and yet here’s another one to throw into the bin. Mind you, this actually is a Fast and Furious game.
Fast & Furious: Showdown is yet another movie tie-in game that seeks to cash in on the hype generated by the movie. Unlike the movie though, the over-the-top and action-packed is replaced by the depressing and groan-inducing in pretty much every aspect.
Among the racing games you’d get these days, the physics and driving mechanics you get from this game is actually pretty bad in comparison. It’s not that the cars behave unusually, but they’re too much like metal boxes on wheels rather than actual cars. At this time, when physics engines are pretty much expected when it’s needed, having primitive physics in a racing game where there’s no distinction between hitting another car and hitting a wall is not acceptable at all.
The singleplayer is just a short career mode with really short missions that plays a bit of the film’s premise and gives you a variety of races with inconsistent difficulty. It’s a good enough campaign, if you can deal with the harder races that come out of nowhere for first-time players. The AI is incompetent, and it shows in the singleplayer races. As for the multiplayer, it only serves to keep you from having to deal with the bad AI by letting you race with others. There is no online multiplayer though, so you can’t just pop this game in and race with other people straight away. That definitely takes away from the replay value and lasting appeal of this game.
The graphics aren’t really anything to be excited about, and the sound effects are pretty much what you’d expect from a racing game these days. As for the cutscenes, which could have been the saving grace for this game, they fall short and over a cliff towards the briny deep. There is little production value to speak of in them, and the storyline is told in such a bewilderingly asinine way. The voice actors are no help either, since no one from the film cast lent their voices for this game.
Just imagine the hype that you’d get from the The Fast and the Furious movie franchise, with all the street racing that EA had milked with the Need for Speed series, then try to play this game. After watching Fast and Furious 6, this game would prove to not just be a letdown, but a cause for some gamer rage for just how far apart the quality of the film and the game is. While the film isn’t exactly a cinematic classic, it still has pretty good production value and an ensemble cast. This game though definitely does not and isn’t even average in any stretch of the imagination, but actually below it.
At least it actually runs well enough to be playable, although you then find out that there’s not much else other than a ton of bugs that get in the way of the bad gameplay. In the end, it’s yet another movie tie-in game from a mobile game developer, so you shouldn’t really expect something that does well in bigger platforms. If you really want a new racing game that actually plays well, get GRID 2.
Tested in PS3. Final Score: 3/10